ANIME & MANGA - Review
16:20 - 12th December 2013, by David West

One Piece: Collection 4: Episodes 79-103

This latest instalment of the best-selling adventure series takes Luffy and the Straw Hat pirates from the frozen mountains of Drum Island to the scorched sands of Alabasta. Along the way, Tony Tony Chopper joins the crew, the team tangles with the tin-plated tyrant Wapol, and has to deal with giant, carnivorous bunny rabbits.

One Piece has never been a show that prides itself on subtlety, but here it bounces along with manic energy and over-the-top characters. Luffy and Usopp can be wearying as they deliver almost every line of their dialogue by yelling (Luffy is so hyperactive that he makes Naruto seem calm and measured by comparison), so you need to have a good tolerance for obnoxiousness to spend any amount of time in their company. Yet despite their shrill personalities, the show's frantic, Looney Tunes style slapstick can produce moments of good comedy amidst all the shouting. The animation is middling, typical of the stretched budget of a long-running series, with some use of still frames. Yet the artwork is resolutely faithful to the spirit and style of Eiichiro Oda's original manga, and the design of the pirate ships and many of the costumes are imaginative and fun.

The English dub team does a great job of tackling their roles with unhinged enthusiasm, and the two commentary tracks in this batch are packed with lively banter from the American cast and crew members.

It's loud! It's shouty! But it's entertaining, very, very silly, and the world's favourite pirate series.
SCORE: 3/5
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